“Creative output, you know, is just pain. I'm going to be cliché for a minute and say that great art comes from pain.”
- Kanye West
Say what you will about Kanye, but some of the world’s most renowned artists, from James Baldwin’s to Vincent Van Gogh have accessed their creativity from a place of pain. Whitney House, CEO and Founder of The Creative Era, is no exception. With her fall collection, Woke and Ready (W.A.R), the Harlem-based designer channels her frustration from the ongoing onslaught of social injustices and this year’s presidential election into her hats, book bags, chokers, bracelets, T-shirts, and hoodies. Using black and camouflage as base colors, House sews a message of consciousness into every detail of her designs, inscribing phrases such as “woke,” “War” or the phrase, “Woke and Ready” onto every garment.
House believes that this generation is ready for whatever is to come under a Trump Presidency. “We are equipped because the people who are supposed to be woke are awake,” she said in an interview with Amsterdam News. "I have come to understand that not everyone will be woke, and I am OK with that. We as a culture are getting there, though.” House says that her closet is filled with predominantly black designers. “That says to me more and more Black people are opening businesses. We, in the culture, that know what to do are doing it.”
House’s goal is to utilize her art to inspire and positively influence culture. Amidst all the injustice and societal ills, this designer maintains an optimistic outlook. “Keep creating producing and moving forward," she says. "Stay motivated stay positive. Turn negatives into positives.”
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